A man accused of murdering a “vulnerable” teenager has admitted attacking her after “losing his temper”, a court has heard.
The badly burned body of Louise Smith was found at Havant Thicket woodland in Hampshire on 21 May, 13 days after she vanished.
Shane Mays, 30, denies her murder but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
His defence barrister told his trial at Winchester Crown Court “he did not intend to kill her”.
The court previously heard prosecutor James Newton-Price told the court Mr Mays inflicted heavy blows to her head before setting her body on fire.
He said part of his motive for killing Louise was “sexual”.
Louise had gone to live with her aunt, who was married to Mays, at a one-bed flat in Ringwood House, Leigh Park, in late April after a quarrel with her mother, the court heard on Tuesday.
She was last seen alive on Somborne Drive in Leigh Park on 8 May – the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Her body was found 13 days later.
On the second day of the trial, Mr Newton-Price said DNA evidence linked Mr Mays to the crime scene and Louise’s blood was found on his trainers.
He told the jury: “Her killer lured or persuaded her to walk to a remote location where he attacked her.
“We say you can conclude that this was an attack of unimaginable cruelty towards a vulnerable 16-year-old girl.
“Louise was just 16, she was anxious, needy, fragile and vulnerable, vulnerable to the attentions of a predatory man who was apparently flirting with her and living in the same small flat.”
Andrew Langdon QC, representing Mr Mays, told the court that the defendant admitted causing Louise’s death but he had attacked her after “losing control of his temper” after an argument.
“He repeatedly punched her and he accepts that his attack on her would have caused or contributed to her subsequent death.
“But he did not intend to kill her or to cause her really serious injury,” he said.
He said the defendant denied that he set Louise’s body on fire.
The trial continues.